Surrey Councillor Linda Annis hopes Mayor Doug McCallum will resurrect the Surrey Public Safety Committee after he ruled her motion to bring it back “out of order” at Monday night’s council meeting.
“I’m going to rule it out of order on one particular point,” McCallum said, “and that is our council procedures, in fact all council in the province of B.C. has the same procedure in that the mayor or the city has a number of statutory committees that the mayor only appoints, and has and sets up, and since this is a statutory committee only the mayor can either have it or not have it, so it’s ruled out of order on well known procedure bylaws by all cities.”
Annis, who is also executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, said the COVID-19 virus crisis is one of the reasons she tried to bring it back.
“It was very, very disappointing,” she told the Now-Leader on Tuesday. “We’ve had this committee in place for more than 15 years until the mayor dissolved it in July of 2019 in favour of the police transition committee.”
Surrey Councillor Linda Annis says she hopes Mayor Doug McCallum will bring back the city's Public Safety Committee after he declared her related motion "out of order" on Monday. #surreybc pic.twitter.com/XXM3Z5cOIi
— Tom Zytaruk (@tomzytaruk) March 10, 2020
It was a long-standing committee that saw all of council meet regularly with police, fire department and emergency responders, bylaws enforcement staff as well as medical health officers, to discuss public safety priorities and initiatives for the city.
“It was very unfortunate the mayor declined my request,” Annis said. “I’m really hoping and reaching out to him that he, at the next council meeting or very, very soon, will make it his initiative and will bring it forward and get the Public Safety Committee back up and running.”
The Police Transition Advisory Committee (IPTAC) the mayor replaced it with was comprised of himself and Safe Surrey Coalition councillors Doug Elford, Laurie Guerra, Allison Patton and Mandeep Nagra. Shut out were McCallum’s former political allies, councillors Brenda Locke, Jack Hundial, Steven Pettigrew, and lone Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis.
The IPTAC committee had a proposed lifespan of three to six months and was tasked with supporting the city’s transition from the Surrey RCMP to the city’s own police force. Council on Monday approved Councillor Jack Hundial’s motion to have the IPTAC committee – which has never actually met in the seven months since its inception – dissolved.